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Old 12-03-2008, 10:28 AM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 1

Thank you for this brilliant class. The work posted here is aspirational/inspirational. Good rich pastel strokes. I have a way to go on this one...
and how strange to do an eye in isolation - very difficult with no reference aroun it. Shows up errors nicely|

Picture uploader seems to be crashed so have to send by attachement.

Xina
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Last edited by christinemlr : 12-03-2008 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:34 AM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 1

Sorry, meant to send the ref pic, but can't find it in browser. Will send when I find it then you will see how wrong these are.
Xina
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Old 12-03-2008, 10:51 AM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 1

Xina, I went back to check right before doing my exercise, and you've got the likeness better than you think -- if your reference was the first blue-green eye that Don did in his example and not one of the examples below. It looks good to me.
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:22 AM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 1

This eye is from a family photo of my little grandson. Thats why its so wrong its supposed to be an eye of a 4 yr old| I can't seem to get it uploaded yet- still trying
Xina
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:32 AM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 1



Eyes-Nose study, from the first reference for the exercise. I don't really like the way the blue worked and I gave up on values and added black and white to it because I was not working on toned paper. This is on white sketchbook paper primed with clear Colourfix primer in the color Conte Portrait set, with black and white added because I needed white as a lightener -- my lightest value was not strong enough for what I was doing and my darkest dark wasn't strong enough. Hair is sketchy.

It looks awful to me, but part of that is that the face and edges trail off like that and it's not the whole face. My mind keeps wanting to complete it with her smile and she's placed on the page so that I won't be getting the side of her head or her hair. This is it side to side and I can't really go higher on her forehead because that's where the primer runs out.

I'm too used to doing the whole face or just the eyes, not eyes and nose together and then not finishing. My usual method is to block in all the proportions lightly and then work my way through the values, but constantly keep going back and blending lighter or darker as I go. I was used to working on nonsanded Canson Mi-Tientes during my street art days, so I blended a lot in order to allow plenty of mixing and then would do the last couple of layers looser. I also stuck a lot closer to local color than the strong blue thrown into the shadows -- that's disconcerting to me. But it worked well mixed with white and yellow respectively in the eyes.

Some of what bugs me is that the blue isn't the right value. I might try other pastels next time where I've got more of a range of blues.
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:35 AM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 1

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Old 12-03-2008, 11:51 AM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 1

Here is my attempt. I always have such a hard time with facial features, so I'm very excited about this class. Not sure if this one is succesful. I'm struggling with the warm/cool balance. Your feedback please. And thanks so much for doing this.

Helen

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Old 12-03-2008, 12:13 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 1

I, too, have found it difficult to do just an eye or nose in isolation! But these are well done. You have used values well to show the forms, especially getting the light and shadow of both upper and lower eyelids.

Looking at your reference, the only thing I noticed was the real eyes are a bit more "open" and rounded than your versions, but that is a minor refinement. Nice use of some cool colors in those shadows!

Don

Quote:
Originally Posted by christinemlr
Thank you for this brilliant class. The work posted here is aspirational/inspirational. Good rich pastel strokes. I have a way to go on this one...
and how strange to do an eye in isolation - very difficult with no reference aroun it. Shows up errors nicely|

Picture uploader seems to be crashed so have to send by attachement.

Xina
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:21 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 1

Nicely done! As I mentioned in my last reply, it is difficult working on features in isolation! This looks good, there is a definite definition of light and shadow. Using black and white pastels is perfectly fine to help you get the values you want. The only thing I notice on first impression is her right upper eyelid could use a bit more cast shadow underneath.

Don


Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsloan2


Eyes-Nose study, from the first reference for the exercise. I don't really like the way the blue worked and I gave up on values and added black and white to it because I was not working on toned paper. This is on white sketchbook paper primed with clear Colourfix primer in the color Conte Portrait set, with black and white added because I needed white as a lightener -- my lightest value was not strong enough for what I was doing and my darkest dark wasn't strong enough. Hair is sketchy.

It looks awful to me, but part of that is that the face and edges trail off like that and it's not the whole face. My mind keeps wanting to complete it with her smile and she's placed on the page so that I won't be getting the side of her head or her hair. This is it side to side and I can't really go higher on her forehead because that's where the primer runs out.

I'm too used to doing the whole face or just the eyes, not eyes and nose together and then not finishing. My usual method is to block in all the proportions lightly and then work my way through the values, but constantly keep going back and blending lighter or darker as I go. I was used to working on nonsanded Canson Mi-Tientes during my street art days, so I blended a lot in order to allow plenty of mixing and then would do the last couple of layers looser. I also stuck a lot closer to local color than the strong blue thrown into the shadows -- that's disconcerting to me. But it worked well mixed with white and yellow respectively in the eyes.

Some of what bugs me is that the blue isn't the right value. I might try other pastels next time where I've got more of a range of blues.
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:31 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 1



Just had to try again, the photo made it much more yellow than really is. Did this before getting your response Don. I think I opened the eye up a bit more here. This has been fascinating. I might try and get 2 eyes together tomorrow.

Til then
Xina
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Old 12-03-2008, 12:33 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 1

Hi Helen, glad you could join us. This is nicely done. Another good example of good light and shadow definition. I struggle with warm/cool balance, too. I'm not sure there is a right answer for how much is just right!

While the values are good, I would observe a bit more closely some of the shapes around the eyes, especially the width of the light shape at the top of the nose which seems a bit wider on the ref photo. The eyes in the photo seem narrower (more squinty) too. In lesson 3, we will discuss measuring and laying out the features in more detail.

Nice first effort!

Don

Quote:
Originally Posted by helenh
Here is my attempt. I always have such a hard time with facial features, so I'm very excited about this class. Not sure if this one is succesful. I'm struggling with the warm/cool balance. Your feedback please. And thanks so much for doing this.

Helen

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Old 12-03-2008, 12:36 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 1

Xina,

This is excellent!

Don

Quote:
Originally Posted by christinemlr


Just had to try again, the photo made it much more yellow than really is. Did this before getting your response Don. I think I opened the eye up a bit more here. This has been fascinating. I might try and get 2 eyes together tomorrow.

Til then
Xina
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:23 PM
Judibelle Judibelle is offline
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 1

Wow, such beautiful eyes so far. I have never done this before, so I decided to start with just one eye, til I get comfortable with it. Then I'll try the 2 eyes and the nose...

Looking forwad to improving....
JB
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:38 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 1

Thanks for pointing out that missing shadow, Don. I meant to do it and forgot to when I drifted off into doing some other shadows first. I fixed it with a touch of blue and a touch of dark brown to mute it.
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:42 PM
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Re: ESP - Portrait & Figure Fundamentals - Lesson 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judibelle
Wow, such beautiful eyes so far. I have never done this before, so I decided to start with just one eye, til I get comfortable with it. Then I'll try the 2 eyes and the nose...

Looking forwad to improving....
JB

This is looking interesting, JB. It's a little hard to tell which reference you used. The eye looks real, it's open very wide though -- when the white (sclera) shows under the iris that's usually a wide-open "wild take" type of eye expression unless the subject is looking up.

One of my tricks for getting the eyes right is to very carefully spend a lot of time getting the odd shadow and light shapes of the eyelids perfect -- the exact crooked little line, exact proportion between the crease and the shadow, shape of the shadows, fuss over those lines before even filling anything -- and sometimes complete the entire portrait before putting in the iris, pupil and catchlight (catchlight = the little bright reflection of the light on the glossy surface of the eye, it helps get attention to the eye especially when it's overlapping or touching the black pupil, making that pupil the strongest contrast in the painting).

Other than the color of the iris, the shape of iris and pupil is the same on everybody's eyes. It's a round circle cut off by the eyelids with a centered smaller dot of pupil and a catchlight off in the direction of the angle of the light. I barely look at the reference to do it because they're all structured about the same. Eye likeness is in the eyelid shape and so is eye expression.

When I did salable portraits in under half an hour, I spent a good quarter to a third of the time getting the shape of the eyelids exactly right, and another nice chunk of time getting the facial proportions right to place the eyes and size them perfectly -- using the first eye I did as a measurement for every other feature, where is it and how big in relation to that eye?

Even if I goofed up the mouth or nose or something, I would still have the likeness once I got the eyes. Also the tourists would be fascinated watching it come to life slowly, and once I put the eyes in last it would seem to come to life by magic. That started partly as a showmanship thing to make tourists happy but it also became a good way to tell if I had the likeness right -- if it looks right when it looks like a marble statue of that person, it'll pop and be alive once the iris, pupil and catchlight are in. Sometimes I put the shadow of the eyelid before detailing the rest of the eye. Very eerie effect!

Last edited by robertsloan2 : 12-03-2008 at 03:46 PM.

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